Sam Hutchinson opens up on being frozen out by former Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay

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At one stage Sam Hutchinson feared his career with Sheffield Wednesday was over.

Former manager Jos Luhukay stubbornly refused to play a number of the Owls' established players, including Hutchinson.

Sheffield Wednesday ace Sam Hutchinson

Sheffield Wednesday ace Sam Hutchinson

Luhukay promoted youth and the likes of Hutchinson, Keiren Westwood, David Jones, George Boyd and Almen Abdi were frozen out from first-team duties. Hutchinson and Westwood were frequently forced to train with the Under-23s.

As Hutchinson readily admits, it was a "horrible time" in his professional life.

"I think Westy (Keiren Westwood) said it as well, I never thought I would play again," said Hutchinson, who joined the Owls initially on loan from Chelsea. "That was upsetting as I have been a big part of the club and the club is a massive part of my life.

"All the boys here are fantastic, everyone about the club staff wise have been amazing for me, it is like a family.

"I have been here a long time and the chairman is included in that. It was tough time, but it is part of football."

Donning the famous blue and white Wednesday strip means everything to Hutchinson.

The defensive midfielder said: "I am away from home with three children and realistically, if I am not playing for Sheffield Wednesday, there is no point in me being in Sheffield.

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"Don't get me wrong, my life is now in Sheffield, but my family are still down south. I wasted four months of my career and life, if I did not have a new born baby, it would have been even harder, but obviously I had my hands full with that."

Luhukay was sacked on December 21 after a run of one victory in 10 matches.

"It was his choice and part of football," said Hutchinson. "Everyone has had it in their career and it was my time.

"Missing so much football for different reasons and being injured made it not very nice, playing with the under-23s."

Hutchinson said Luhukay never fully explained to him why he was overlooked.

The 29-year-old, who has made seven senior appearances since Luhukay's departure, said: "It was difficult but what I had to put up with. I have had mental struggles before. So I am mentally strong now and can put up with anything.

"It was just part and parcel of it. You saw how happy I was to come out on the pitch the first time. I think if you are a footballer, you want to play football.

"I hadn't trained with a younger age group since I was 16 or 17, I was always training with the first team wherever I was.

"That was difficult, and I have got Neil Thompson to thank for looking after me as he has done with all of us in that situation. If it wasn't for him, I would have probably fallen off, but he really looked after me.

"He has stepped up to the first team and I hope he stays there as he has been great for me."

Asked if he feels any animosity towards Luhukay, Hutchinson said: "I don't feel any way about it, whatsoever, if I am perfectly honest with you.

"It has gone back to how it was before. Obviously, Jos had a different philosophy and a different way to look at it. I am not sure he understood the Championship at all. That was his course and you live and die by your actions.

"With the more experience that Bully (Lee Bullen) had around the squad and Championship in changing it back, you saw the results come and the same with Aggers (Steve Agnew) and Clem (Stephen Clemence) coming in.

"We had that performance against Hull, but sometimes you have that in football and in life. You have a bad day at work and that was literally 11 of us, apart from Westy who did quite well to be fair!

"That was it. It has been fantastic and long may it continue."

Hutchinson said he sought out Luhukay about his lack of game time but "didn't get a lot from him".

"It was just his choice and I had to put up with it," he said. "The only thing that disappointed me through the whole thing was him coming out and saying I was injured. That was tough.

"Because when I retired through injury, I suffered with mental health issues, I was depressed and had to go to the priory for a long time.

"So to have someone coming out and saying stuff about you that’s not true about you, that’s quite difficult, because people already have a perception of me that I’m always injured. Regardless if I am or not, I wasn’t at that time.

"Honestly, it was his choice. I respect his choice. You live and die by your decisions and unfortunately his decisions didn’t work for him at Sheffield Wednesday. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours."